I was wondering what generalisation and instantiation were exactly because my notes claim it to be: Generalisation: "from elementary to complex propositions" Instantiation: "from complex to elementary propositions" I cannot really understand complex and elementary in this context and thought generalisation was more like moving from particular to general (argument-form). To put in other words material to formal logic. What do you think?

  • "Elementary" and "complex" do not sound very formal, is this from a book? There are formal rules of generalization and instantiation in predicate calculus, but they do not rely on vague adjectives of this sort. They rather replace constants with quantified variables in predicates, and vice versa. So going from "every man is mortal" to "Socrates is mortal" is an instantiation. – Conifold Sep 17 '20 at 0:43

Instantiation: from a general statement to an individual case.

Example: "Every human being is a Philosopher"; therefore "Socrates is a Philosopher".

Generalization: the "inverse" inference. From an "generic" individual case to a general statement.

Example: "A human being is a Philosopher"; therefore "Every human being is a Philosopher".

Thus, you are right: it is not complex vs simple but general vs particular.

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